This article will discuss how to get a press kit to get out into the freelance writer world. But there is no way to make yourself stand out from the crowd if you don’t have a professional press kit.
Doing research can give you many tips on how to build your own personal press kit. In terms of size and scope, the best place to start is with the journalists that you’d like to reach.
That may be the news director at the local newspaper or the editor of an online publication. You can also look for profiles of other local writers.
Consider whether you want a national press kit or one tailored for local outlets. The route you take depends on your goals.
Paid press kits
Paid press kits have a simple purpose: to let potential clients know what you’re all about and what you can do. Many of these kits, if prepared professionally, come complete with photos and a nice pitch deck.
You can use your own template or create your own.
The downside is that you have to do the work and do it well. If you make an error, you could end up costing yourself money and, more importantly, clients.
Demo press kits have a different purpose: to help the consumer feel like they’re getting a good deal, which will likely result in many in the newsroom buying your articles. They can be simple or elaborate, and they can be integrated into your other marketing efforts.
Several services can create your press kit for you. However, there is a cost associated with them.
Indie press kit
Indie press kits are a great way to connect with local writers, bloggers, and journalists on a smaller, more personal level.
They allow you to get some more personal exposure for your articles while giving local journalists a chance to discover new writing talent.
Paid press kit creation services
These services can get you the basic press kit all tied up with just a few clicks. However, if you’re an independent writer, you may want to do it for yourself.
Freelance writing kit creator
This is a great service that allows you to send out press kits to different publications worldwide. They give you the templates and guidelines you need, which means you don’t have to worry about them.
But, if you want to customize them, you can!
A professional press kit can show off your talents, and that can lead to greater success as a freelancer. This is a beneficial service, with step-by-step directions.
Here are some tips on how to create a press kit:
- Don’t use anything too expensive. This way, you can use it for multiple types of interviews.
- Try to create a list of the people you will be talking to and follow up with.
- Ensure the press kit has only media that is appropriate for that person.
- Create a visual timeline for where you are in your process.
- Share your photo gallery and bios with the press.
The best way to get a press kit together is to talk to journalists directly. Often, they will have an event coming up or want to interview a particular person to publish a story.
In some cases, they may even be looking for photos. For example, I’m looking for a sports photographer.
If I tell them that, they will often respond with, “If that is so, how do I get more photos of that event.”
For example, I’m running a kickball tournament for my 8th-grade students this summer. All the kids, parents, and teachers are on board, but I need to get the press to come.
I also need them to get photos of the players.
It’s good to pitch your ideas early. For instance, if I want to hire a photographer, I could try to work out an agreement by stating that in exchange for them shooting, I will give them a press kit to use.
Here’s an example:
“Hi, Evan. First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. I know it can be a tough time for photographers, so I would love to take photos for the kids’ kickball tournament this summer when you get the opportunity.
I would prefer to have photos that you can use to promote your company’s name and media coverage in the event’s article. I’m trying to find a sports photographer to shoot our event to provide a press kit to them for free.
I want to give you a media kit with the best photos I get to use in their article. Do you have any ideas of how I can get the photographer to sign up to shoot for me?”
Now that you have the basic idea of creating a press kit, I wanted to answer the most commonly asked questions I receive.
Where should I include the press kit?
It can be difficult to include all the information you want, especially if you are working on multiple projects. In my case, I usually include them in multiple emails, including:
- My personal website’s About Me page.
- The student group’s About Me page.
- A blog post about the kickball tournament
- An article about the kickball tournament on the public school’s website
- About 50,000 photos of kids playing kickball
How often should I update the press kit?
Typically, I would say every 6 months to 1 year, although there are always exceptions. As long as you’re sending out multiple email notifications and updates, that is fine.
What media should I send with my press kit?
I always send a PDF of my press kit. This way, I can also include photo galleries and bios.
Include the following media:
- Photo gallery
- 20k word-of-mouth campaigns for engagement
- About Me page
- Image gallery
- Story on your local news website
- The story in the local magazine (and link back to your website)
- Profile on Buzzfeed
Get it done early
When a journalist calls, they need a good photo to use and at least a 60-120 second sound clip.
By the time they have a second to call you back, you have to send your press kit. By the time you start working on your press kit, you’ve lost your chance to be included in the article or the photo.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but you will get faster at this over time.
Start by making a list of the people you want to contact. That list will help you prioritize the stories that you want to cover.